Last week marked the return of Arkansas senior cornerback Tevin Mitchel to a beleaguered Hogs secondary unit. Not only did Mitchel’s return bring a bunch of experience for the young cornerbacks, but a proven SEC cover corner who can take on each opponent’s top receiving threat. In his first game back from injury, Mitchel exceeded expectations, breaking up two passes and recording five tackles in the team’s blowout win over Texas Tech.

Things won’t get any easier for Mitchel this week, who will be lined up against Norther Illinois wide receiver Da’Ron Brown. The Huskies senior wideout isn’t physically imposing at just 6-foot-0, 196-pounds, but his on-field production speaks for itself.

His junior year stats of 752 receiving yards, nine touchdowns and 16.3 average yards per catch all led the team.

Even without Jordan Lynch leading the offense, Brown’s game hasn’t dropped off.The Chicago native has already 19 receptions, 357 receiving yards and four touchdowns, including two straight six-reception, 100-plus yards outings. He’s currently averaging about 20 yards per reception.

In comparison to the other NIU receivers, no one has more than 100 receiving yards or even double-digit receptions.

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For Mitchel, he’s Arkansas’ most physical and NFL-ready corner on the football team. Not only can he cover Brown, but he can also cover the slot receivers if needed.

Both Brown and Mitchel have similar body types with no real advantage in the heigh category, but Mitchel should be strong enough to keep Brown off his routes enough to take away NIU’s biggest receiving threat. They’ll probably look to Brown downfield as he as proven to be the Huskies’ big play threat. Expect to see safeties Rohan Gaines and Alan Turner providing some over the top help on those deep routes to aid Mitchel.

There’s no question that if NIU wants to come out of Fayetteville with an upset, Brown needs to be a big part of that plan. However, NIU has yet to face a team like Arkansas. Brown has been a wonderful development for the Huskies, making the plays he needs to downfield and becoming that reliable No. 1 target for quarterback Drew Hare, but I believe he’ll have a tough game in Fayetteville Saturday night.